Saturday, January 31, 2009

My A - Z

Allergic to shrimp and bee stings ( ... and nothing else that I know of)

Blanche is my middle name

Creating is my passion. I don't see it as being about what I 'make'. It's who I am. Whatever I 'make' is an extension of that.

Dreaming (while sleeping) has always been enjoyable for me - like seeing free movies every night (maybe why I sleep through movies?? See letter 'S' below)

Elspeth is Scottish for Elizabeth and the two meanings I've seen for it are (i) "God an oath" and (ii) "God's Grand-daughter"

Firstborn of three girls

Gave up smoking and drinking on January 8, 2001 and never looked back

Helping animals in whatever way(s) I can when I see them in need (e.g. injured birds, dogs at roadside, lost animals, etc). is something I've always been strongly moved to do

I would never want to be anyone else but me

Jumping out of a speeding hijacked car in 1998 was one of the most dangerous things I've experienced. I was uninjured except for bad bruises (still have scars on back) and strange pain in wrist (see letter X below).

Kundalini is the kind of yoga I've been practising since October 2000

Libran ... the best

My blood crawls when I see lots of small dots or raised bumps in a cluster together ... or small moving things in a cluster (e.g. a heap of maggots, especially if in a festering wound)

Northern Lights ... I intend to see/experience them in my lifetime

Over the years I think less and less about 'what my purpose in this life is'. The question used to consume me. I realise that just 'being' who I am is the purpose.

Pictionary is my favourite board game, but I haven't played it in ages.

Quitting my job in advertising in 1999 was one of the best birthday gifts I ever gave myself. (Wrote the resignation letter on 7 September so that the departure date would be 7 October, my birthday).

Rawist since May 2008

Sleep through many/most movies ...

'Thank You' is something I say often in my head

Understanding others and myself beneath the surface (and learning from the two) is something I constantly strive to do

Very good at making 'something' out of 'nothing' when that needs to happen.

Wonderment in simple, small, everyday, often overlooked things and moments (and the ability/propensity for this) is one of my life's most enjoyable gifts/experiences.

X-rays done on knee (damaged ligament while dancing at toga party years ago), chest (routine, for medical), wrist (damaged after jumping out of speeding hijacked car - see J)

Yoga has been and continues to be transforming and enhancing for me

Zoos ... I don't like them.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Alphabet Poem #3

Beauty Craves Dashing Eros.

Flirty, Giggly, Has Insatiable Jugs.
Kind, Loves Men ...
No Oafs, Please!

Quietly Rabid, Sensual, Talkative, Unusual Vixen.
Wow! X-citing!

Nurse on Duty

(The latest episode of "Nurse Jasper" is dedicated to my sister Kathryn, his #2 ... or maybe #3 fan).
I'd better look like I'm busy patrolling this ward, lest the Doctor happens by and sees me.

Wait! Hold on! Just thought of something ...
An Apple a day keeps the ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Paging Nurse Jasper ... Nurse Jasper, you're needed!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alphabet Poem #2 ...

... for Hero swinging on highly charged electrical line to rescue his Girlfriend

"Alan! Be Careful!" Denise Exclaimed.
"Forget Gallantry!
Heroism is Just ... Kaka.
Listen ...
My New Option, Practised Quickly,
Reintroduces Safety!"

Then ...

Valour Was X-tinguished.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You've got (snail) mail

This afternoon I got three pieces of mail, two of which were the exciting kind. The other was from the bank.
Some time ago the blogger Lynn, in sharing a bit of her 'day job', offered to send a copy of her "Relaxation Technique for Stress Reduction" CD to the first ten people who left comments on that particular post. I happened to be one of them ... and the CD, from California, was one of the packages I received today. It's 15 minutes of Lynn's voice leading the listener through "a relaxing of your mind and body that leaves you feeling like an old rag doll, limp and loose, and blissed out." I'll put on my headphones and listen to it later this evening before I go to sleep.
My other package felt like a CD but wasn't. It contained two cards from my friend Rose in London. One was a greeting card with a haunting overhead photograph of the River South Esk winding through the Grampian Mountains, with a spotlight of sun beaming through grey clouds, illuminating a piece of the valley and making the river silver. Tucked into the greeting card was the other card ... a MotherPeace Tarot card which Rose (who picks a card every now and then when we are communicating) had picked for me some time earlier in January ... if I remember correctly, even before I knew I would be having the operation and this current period of rest.

The Four of Swords generally signifies a time of retreat and healing, meditation, going within, clearing of the head/heart/soul, positive stillness, recuperation after a period of great activity ... definitely what my life is about these days.

Alphabet Poem

Inspired by this Photographic Dictionary, which I came across when reading this blog, I decided to write a poem using only words beginning with each letter of the alphabet (in alphabetical order). It's a nice little challenge for the mind. I wrote two more this morning. My first attempt is below. Why not give it a go yourself?

Breathing Closely.

Dusky Evening
Falls ...

Joyfully Kiss Lips:

Perhaps Quiet Romances
Start Thriving Under Violets,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My night nurse

Meanwhile, later that evening ...
Yaaaaawn. Ohhh, I'm on duty again tonight ...
But I'll just relax for a while and listen to my theme song before I get to work.

Three things about three things ...

You can just barely see them on the wall: three rainbows created by the crystal at the window
(Photo courtesy iPhoto)
Three things I've been thinking about (lots of time to be pensive these days) ...
1. Every experience in life shows us new things (... but do we always see them?) This experience has shown me/is showing me more about Love, Friendship and People - myself included.

2. Blogging ... What is it for and why do I do it? Before I started blogging, I didn't even know what a blog was. When I found out I was baffled as to why people wrote about themselves and their lives and showed their photos to the public. It seemed so inane. Now here I am doing it. My blog has gone from being quite abstract (to the extent that I didn't even use the name 'Elspeth' - I just went as 'Happy Hippy') ... to creative/semi-personal ("My Creative Portal", I used to call it) ... and now it seems to be a combo of abstract, creative and personal, but starting to lean more to the personal side ... maybe. Will I continue 'for ever'? Will it evolve into something else? One day will I lose interest and stop completely?

3. In addition to feeling and having Love, to heal quickly, one needs something(s) to look forward to ... something(s) to stretch toward.

Three things I'm looking forward to:
1. It's currently under my bed. It arrived from Toronto a few days before I went for the op, so I haven't fully had the chance to use it. Am excited to be up and about again so I can.
2. A date later in February.
3. Getting out and about with Synchronicity (my camera) - both business and pleasure.

Three favourite things that happened yesterday:
1. The couriers brought the LCD protector I'd ordered for Synchronicity
2. Surprise phone call from my friend Tamara in Toronto
3. My friend Nisha came over and dropped off a bar of Fearless raw organic chocolate and a mixed yoga CD (both sent by another friend, Rosanna) ... along with a few little gifts of her (Nish) own - magnetic book (for the fridge) and some pens.

Monday, January 26, 2009

From bed to blog

My third morning post-surgery and I feel good. Amazing how quickly the body can heal.

My island is now the size of a bed ... My world the size of a room. Below, I share some of the photos of the people, places, flora, fauna and cuisine which Synchronicity (my camera) and I took on our 'global travels' this weekend ...
The crystal hanging in the window sends rainbows through the curtains, onto the walls on a sunny morning (when sun is in the East).
Reflection of my friend Nisha (right of pic) and my leg (left) as we lounge on my bed chatting. She was visiting on the night of the day I came home (Saturday).

My foot (left) and my friend Carol's foot (right) during her visit on Sunday morning.
The sun casts shadows of the curtains, burglar proofing and dolphin wind chimes on the upper front right corner of room.
Sunday lunch courtesy Mummy: avocado, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots. Raw roughage.
Flowers I got when in hospital. Pink rose from my sis Kathryn and nephew Liu. Other flowers from my friend Glen. Rosanna's flowers were more wild and temporary, so lasted only for the length of time I was in l'hôpital.
Empty bowl contained Saturday night's (non raw) soup (à la maman): spinach and carrots boiled and blended, with small, soft chunks of cassava. Creamy and delish.My ever-present head nurse ... sleeping on duty as usual.

And ... happy new moon today. It's a good one.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My first ever surgical experience

My hospital wrist band which I kept as a souvenir
Dear All,

I was wondering if to blog about this before or after. I've chosen to do it after ... now that I am back home. This way there's no need for concern.

Early on the morning of Friday 23rd January, I had my first ever experience of 'going under' (anesthetic) and having surgery. It was 'minor' surgery, but being my first time with any kind of surgery, it felt 'major' ... since I didn't know what to expect. I was anxious, curious, excited and afraid all rolled into one.

I haven't had the flu or been sick in over ten years, I go to the doctor maybe as much as once a year (for a routine check up or to get a medical to fill out some form or the other) and I can't remember the last time I've taken any kind of medication or pain killers. As a result, in the past few days when I've told my friends that I'm going to have an operation, the across-the-board response has been: "You?!!" Just like when I said I was painting my room pink. "You?!!"

In all it was an interesting experience. Going under the general anesthetic especially. As they fitted the nozzle over my nose, I said (or tried to say) a few last words: "Wish me well" ... only it came out like the deep drone of a warped tape or slowed down record: Wooooooorrrrsssshhhh mooooooyyyyyyy woooorrrrrrllllllll." One of the nurses said: "What?" and removed the nozzle from my nose. I repeated as slowly and carefully as I could (as I felt myself fading quickly): "WISHHH ... MEEE ... WELLLL ..." Through my half closed eyes I could see quite a few of them leaning over me and I heard a chorus of singing voices saying in unison: "WE WISH YOU WELL!!!" ... and that was how I 'went under'.

Next thing I knew, someone was gently waking me.

Lots to say about the experience, but I'll end here for now. Healing time is an estimated 2 weeks, but I feel it will be much less. I'm grateful for the health of my body, its swift healing responses and, thanks to raw foods, its clean inner landscape and flow. I'm grateful for my loving family and friends.

I had asked a few of the nurses at the hospital:"Do you like what you do?" Each of them had responded without hesitation: "We LOVE what we do!" So important. I felt their care and their carefulness in all that they did for me. Even when they gave me hot oatmeal for breakfast this morning, I could taste that it had been made by gentle hands.

So, that was my 'adventure this weekend. And I'm glad to be back in my glowing pink room ... my rose headquartzers.

Good thing I don't have needle phobia. This is where the needle was (in the vein on the back of my hand) for the anesthetic. It stayed in there until I left this morning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Before and After

The background wall colours in the above photos came out pale (I guess because of depth of field and exposure?) ... but I was feeling too lazy to take them over and get the true hues. Use your imagination to deepen and brighten them and you will see the before and after of my bedroom.

Before (left photo), it was blue (see this post for a truer representation of the hue).

Yesterday two painters painted it pink.

It surprises many people when I say that I'm not good with choosing and combining colours. They say "But you're an artist!" But colours have never been my forte. I just have to go with what feels right. And somehow I felt for pink. When I told friends, etc that I was painting my room pink, their reaction was a shocked (or in some cases, disgusted): "Pink??!!!" And then some would say something like "But that's not you!!!"

Well it's 'not me' (in the traditional sense, seeing that I've always been on the blue-green end of the spectrum) ... but when I looked at the colour charts in the paint shops, I only felt drawn to the pink hues. They felt warm and had a strong, resonant vibration. Of course I decided to go with what I was feeling.

So, this is a first for me. My first ever 'pink' room. Such a change, considering I once hated the colour. It's what I feel now. But will I feel it a month from now?

Let's just say that the colour on the colour chart isn't what ended up on the walls. Is it ever? I had thought it would be a rich, earthy, natural kind of pink, but it's not. How do I describe what now surrounds me? I like to think of it as walking into a huge rose quartz and being embraced by its properties. It's kind of deep and bright and seems to be a different tone every time I look at it. It depends on the lighting in the room at the time. It's a strange pink that I can't quite put my finger on and am not yet accustomed to. Maybe even strawberrry meets dash of blueberry? Not being a colour expert, I don't know how to describe it or what colour curtains and sheets will complement it.

My friend Nisha (who's coming over in a while to see it and give advice on colour combinations) says it takes a week to get used to colour change. I can feel the physical effects of it. Whereas with the blue I was calm (maybe because it was blue and/or because I was accustomed to it), I can actually feel my inner body vibrating for some reason in this pink room.

"Stimulation," according to Nisha.

We'll see what she says when she steps in!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Where is my head today?

1. I dressed and headed out early for a nine o'clock meeting. Reached on time, hoping the meeting wouldn't be longer than an hour as I had lots of other things to do. Sat waiting for the person I was to meet with, somewhat irritated that she hadn't even reached the office yet, it was after nine and the receptionist couldn't reach her on her cell phone or home phone. Looked in my diary to bide time by checking what else I had to do for the day ... and realised today is Monday and not Tuesday! The meeting is tomorrow.

Last week I did the same thing. Bright and early on Monday packed up my camera gear and everything needed for the video project with the girls ... only to realise (thankfully before leaving the house) that it was Monday ... and I was to meet them on Tuesday.

2. After this morning's 'meeting' I went to the paint store to buy white paint (primer) for tomorrow - painting my bedroom. Paid for the paint, started talking to a customer in the store, then told her bye and started heading out the door. The owner of the paint store called after me: "Wait! You're leaving without your paint!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Got smoothie?

Drinking this morning's yummy, creamy Smoothie out of my stainless steel beer mug. I've had it since I was a teen. My name is engraved on it.

Smoothie ingredients: 2 - 3 cups coconut water, a few dry stevia leaves, one avocado (or half of a large one in this case), flax oil, half blender full of spinach, one banana.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy 800th Birthday

King's College, Cambridge, England
Photo from article (link below)

Cambridge University, where I did my Masters degree and spent some of the best and dearest times of my life is celebrating its 800th anniversary
. Wow. Daddy sent me a link to the article and when I started to read it my eyes filled with tears. I felt sentimental, realising that I am a link in an 800 year old chain of students who have passed through this special place.

The celebrations are global, so I'll celebrate tonight with my own simple light show and bell ringing.

The college featured in the image with the article (above) is King's College. My college was one of the women's colleges - the lovely New Hall, now known (as of last year) as Murray Edwards College.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Busy days

Still shot of part of the video project I'm currently working on with some adolescent girls.
Keeping busy, getting things done work-wise and otherwise.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Helping my Human" by Jasper

I'm lending a paw to my Human as she sorts out those accounts she's left piling up over the past few months.
"Yawn ... the things we do for love."

"Wake me up when it's over."


Pulling strands
Catching Light
Enlightening me
Illuminating my path

Spider in garage the other morning at sunrise

Below, an extract (full article here):

Spider honors each individual's essence. Honor and encourage each person's individual essence, recognizing and gathering only the sweetness. In our world, humans are often honored for their actions instead of their essence. We often look to be fed by what we do instead of who we are, by work and play instead of our divine essence. Spider assures us that a thousand hours of work will never be as valuable to her or Great Spirit as one drop of your essence.

Have you ever looked closely at a spider's web sparkling in the sun? Each place four directions intersect (much like the intersection of our world) is the home of countless rainbows, adding to the spectacle that is the kaleidoscope of her creation. Can you be dedicated enough to Beauty to encourage each of her creations to shine forth their own light so that the whole web can sparkle its infinitely complex pattern? When an individual's essence is not honored, a rainbow is stifled. Are you secure enough in your own shining that you can allow others to join and compliment your light?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today: two of my special anniversaries

Double rainbow seen from back yard the other day.
In celebration of my double anniversary.
Today is a life-changing day. It marks two important anniversaries in my life:

1. The 4th anniversary of my first ever blog post.

2. The 8th year anniversary of that miraculous and unexpected moment when I woke up and knew deep within myself that I would never smoke again.

This post goes into more detail about how the two above-listed items came about.

I'm glad I started blogging. It has brought many joys - in the form of inspiration, moments and new people to my life (those I may not have met otherwise). And I am ultimately glad that I no longer smoke. It is to the top (if not at the top) of the list of "best things done in my life". When I look back at myself smoking, I feel like I'm looking at a whole other person. So many things have fallen away since then ... and new, healthier aspects continue to be added daily.

To those who have made the resolution to quit smoking (or quit anything that they want to give up) for the new year, I support you fully. May you also receive 'a miracle' ... whether it is the miracle of strength, miracle of determination, miracle of realisation, miracle of the desire to be healthy and clean, miracle of it 'just happening' (as it did in my case) ...

Whatever miracle is required to enable you to 'kick the habit', may you experience it in the perfect way and timing for YOU. And may you thereafter find interesting, enjoyable and healthy ways of loving yourself and filling the 'space' left by that which you no longer want in your life.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sunnyside up

Some of the flowers I planted in the garden outside my bedroom window on 30 December 2008
Today is an amazing day.
Blessings bloom in my smiling horse shoe.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Over the weekend I went to walk the labyrinth with my friend Kristen.
We were joined by two inquisitive but shy stray pups. I christened them 'labradors' ... lab for labyrinth and adors because who would not adore these little bundles?
The black pup (braver of the two) stands at the opening of the path, apparently knowing exactly what to do. There was evidence that the puppies and perhaps a larger dog had been walking the labyrinth at some point. Large and small 'loads' were deposited at points along the pathway.
"Sometimes in life shit happens," Kris said when she saw the faecal offerings.
The black puppy makes off with the right side of my water sandals while his brother tentatively climbs onto the labyrinth to sniff at the path
View upwards while lying down in centre of labyrinth.
"Bye for now ..."